CSC November Update #3

Hi Commanders!

Welcome back to Part #4 on our series of posts covering all things you want to know about CSC. In this post we will be covering the topics of Scanning (finding resources) and Exploration (finding loot). Enjoy!

Discovery in CSC

CSC game-play will have a heavy focus on the economic activities required to manufacture goods, construct ships / modules and expanding the Galactic Federation into the EtherVerse. To facilitate this, CSC has several game mechanics that can help the savvy commander gain an edge. The following will cover scanning and exploration in CSC.

Scanning (Resources)

In CSC, scanning comes in two forms: are exploration beams (we will cover in the next section) and resource scanners. Resource scanners come in a variety of styles, each with their own advantages & disadvantages. You will have the choice of Directional Scanners, Semi-Directional / Arc Scanners, and Omni-Directional / Pulse Scanners. All scanners will have multiple varieties and quality levels. Differences found in quality levels will affect the quality of a scanner (accuracy of scan color), range (distance that an object can be to be scanned), and type (resource scanner only, or cargo scanner as well).

Scanning Video #1

As seen in the above video, scanning results for resources are presented as a color of the light spectrum. Scanners show the color & spectral frequency on your target. Each resource in the game has its own spectral color. These colors WON’T be published by the Galactic Federation, but are revealed when you scan objects that contain resources. The accuracy of the color is dependent on the quality of your scanner. The higher the quality of the scanner, the more accurate the color will be. For example, in CSC, iron and aluminium have similar spectral colors, so a low quality scanner might show a similar color frequency for each.

Next lets consider what happens when multiple resources are in the same object. This is when scanning can be a little tricky, but rewarding to detail-oriented commanders. When multiple resources are present, the scanner returns the average spectral frequency of all resources found in a object. The intensity of a specific resource is dictated by the amount of that resource in the target object. For example, an object that has 1,000 units of Trilite ore and 10,000 units of Iron ore may look like mostly iron on initial glance. But a savvy commander would have kept records of the spectral frequency of previous iron rich objects and might notice a slight shift towards another color (red-ish pink in this instance). The amount of that shift can indicate both the concentration and the type of resources present. For an example of how this works, see the following video clip.

Scanning Video #2

Notice the bright white rock at 0:26 in the video. This rock contains all iron ore, approximately 10,000 units of it. It returns a spectral frequency of EAEDF5. This frequency will shift slightly every time I scan because the scanner I have equipped provides a scan quality 95%, so I can expect a 5% variance on the resulting spectrum. Since 5% isn’t much, I’m not too worried about my results. At 0:31 the asteroid scanned returns a F4C9D8 frequency, white with some pinkish red in it. This is because this asteroid has 10,000 Iron Ore and about 2,500 Trilite Ore. At 0:37 you will see a asteroid with a F90E34 frequency, this has approximately 2,500 Trilite Ore. With 25 different resources currently in the CSC universe than can be harvested you can expect to see many different colors and frequency combination.

Now let’s discuss the scanner types. In the video, I demo two of the 3 main resource scanners in CSC, direction and pulse scanners.

Direction scanners provide the longest range of any scanner type of equivalent quality levels. Directional scanners have almost no cool down allowing for quick scanning of objects dependent only on how quickly a Commander can soft lock targets. Directional scanners have the least amount of power draw leaving you plenty of power to mine and prospect your next targets (great for smaller ships).

Arc Scanners have a medium range per quality level and work similar to directional scanners (it uses a similar scan projectile fired from your ship as the directional scanner). Depending on quality, these type of scanners can scan objects within a 30–75 degree arc of the from of your ship. These scanners have to have line of sight and cannot scan objects occluded behind other objects.

Finally Pulse Scanners, these scanners have the shortest range but covers objects in a spherical radius of a ship. The pulse can propagate through objects allowing you to scan objects that are occluded from your line of sight. While pulse scanners are great for speedy prospecting they do come with a downside. Pulses require a lot of energy (would be difficult to mine and scan at the same time unless have you have a ship modded for power) and it increases your radar signature (easier for NPC and player to detect you and reduces their lock on time).

To sum up: scanning is a key game mechanic in CSC and players can gain proficiency at it in multiple ways (both in game via skill and tech, and out of the game via detailed record keeping and decoding color frequencies). A couple things to remember about scanning:

  • One, scanners don’t take up hard-points so valuable weapon slots are not used to equip scanners.
  • Two, resource signatures are just ONE type of frequency you can discover (look out for really odd signatures or bright flares).
  • Three, scanning results are ONLY shown to the commander that initiates it, while other commanders can see the beams and pulses, but won’t see the color blooms or results (groups or fleets will be able to share scanning info).

Exploration

Exploration and discovery are key pillars we wanted to have in the CSC EtherVerse. How we execute exploration is still something our team is discussing / designing today. While the premise is as simple as letting players discover items, the execution requires a lot of thought and planning. We want our exploration mechanic to be rewarding, but not overly tedious. We also want exploration to stand on its own and be something Commanders can specialize in and not just be an offshoot of mining / resource collection.

To that extent I would like to introduce one of the first aspects of exploration we have implemented, exploration beams. Exploration beams are standard on all ships, while modules will exist that give your beams some enhanced abilities, the standard beam will be able to uncover any hidden objects (aka loot) in the game. Hidden objects can be found almost anywhere in CSC, you will tend to find them more often around wreckage, derelict structures or on/near asteroids and other stellar bodies. These objects are uncloaked after an exploration beam passes over them, once revealed you can access them to reveal the loot they hold. Loot found in these boxes can be virtually anything, from blueprint pieces, to refined resources and rare or unexpected items (see the following video). Exploration hidden object will be reseeded on a regular basis. We expect loot to shift location & items on a weekly or daily basis. Location of hidden items can be hinted at in station news, look for stories regarding strange readings or recent encounters.

Keep in mind this is just the first aspect of exploration we have implemented, a lot of these exploration mechanics are still being designed and developed. For example, we have yet to decide if exploration loot is instanced per user or globally persistence. There are good cases that can be made for both types but in the end we might just need to test this out in one of the Alpha and see which feel more balanced. The following video will demo exploration beam on one of my favorite ships the Reaper Interceptor. With fast Intrepid Class ships that is great for exploration, this size allows to navigate tight spaces and its exploration beam can be pivoted a full 360 degrees (Notice the Phoenix Carrier could not emit a beam from its rear).

Exploration Beam Example Video

In addition to exploration in the video you will see resource scanning being used by Reaper Interceptor as well. It is worthwhile to compare the two scanning videos in this blog to get a real sense of scale of our ships in the game. I made sure to scan the same golden asteroid as I did in the previous video to help illustrate the size and scale.

NFTs & KittyVerse

Now if you watched the previous video you might have noticed something unexpected in that hidden loot container ;)… Yes, you saw correctly it a was an actual NFT from Crypto Kitties, specifically cat #10239.

https://www.cryptokitties.co/kitty/10239

CSC is a game built with blockchain technology and is designed to integrate any NFT (made possible with our upgraded tech infrastructure). With our new system, it will be possible to see in-game item representations of any supported NFT in the CSC EtherVerse. These items are shown (and turned into in-game items) as long as your associated ETH wallet owns them. In the future we hope to add some functionality to these items (skin mods, visual buffs, or maybe even an all cat crew?) but for now you can carry your cat collection around with you as you travel the cosmic expanse. One important implementation point to note is that, non-CSC assets don’t need to be checked into the CSC game universe to become active item and be displayed. They can’t be lost or taken and will always return to your station inventory on request. You will however have the option to check-in any supported NFT if you want a more core experience. Once checked in, that asset can be traded and transferred using our off-chain solution in accordance to the rules of the CSC EtherVerse. Yes, this means checked in cats can be pirate bounty! This option opens a lot of doors to the CSC Community, we are looking forward to seeing how this feature can be expanded and how integration of other NFT assets can expand our Dapp universe.

Part 4 Conclusion

Well that’s all for this post, below you will find a list of topics I will be covering in future / next post.

Thanks for reading and safe flying Commanders!

Upcoming Topics:

-Docking and Multi-ship play

-Module & Seed Distribution

-Items and Transportation Mechanics

-Farming

-Ships, Fleets, Control and Command Systems

-Clans & Team Play

-Events & Competitions